Woodland Hills, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed business and community leaders from across the San Fernando Valley at the United Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Mayor’s Luncheon, on Wednesday, November 29th 2017, at the Warner Center Mariott. The Mayor touted several of LA’s accomplishments over the past years, followed by a discussion of three primary challenges facing the City: Poverty, housing, and transportation.
Reflecting on his upbringing in the San Fernando Valley and the changes he had seen over the years, Mayor Garcetti started, “I want to return the City to [local] values, while also making key investments.” He listed several of the City’s recent accomplishments, including:
- Achieving the highest employment rate in LA history
- Attracting 49million visitors last year
- Being home to several high-quality universities
- LA-China replacing NY-London as the most important air route
- Record productivity at the Port of Los Angeles
Mayor Garcetti said these accomplishments reflected the “California Dream”, that “we’d find a place where the sun not only shines, but that we can find opportunity.” The Mayor then turned his attention to the three primary challenges facing LA: Poverty, housing, and transportation.
The film tax credit was highlighted as a successful example of keeping jobs in LA. According to the Mayor, since the tax credit’s implementation, it has returned $2billion to the local economy, and kept 50,000 middle-class jobs in the City. The Mayor also highlighted extensive work being undertaken the retool local aerospace manufacturing capabilities, and to retrain local works to create next-generation aerospace technologies.
Mayor Garcetti stressed that, “We need to make sure that we have jobs for the next generation.” The Mayor highlighted funds received from the Small Business Administration to create an online process called, “Startup in a Day” – a system that is now being used, or replicated, by other cities across the Country.
Other job-creating and sustaining investments and accomplishments included:
- LA being home to over 20,000 jobs in clean energy
- Lowering the gross receipts tax
- Making LA community colleges free
On housing, the Mayor highlighted recent City and State Measures that would build 10k units of housing, and provide $350million/year in services to build additional housing. He stressed that the City needed to build new housing, simply due to supply & demand. Touching on the pervasive issue of homeless in LA communities, Garcetti said, “The choice isn’t whether or not we’re going to bring homeless into our neighborhoods – it’s whether or not we’re going to house the homeless who are already in our neighborhoods.”
With regards to traffic, Mayor Garcetti insisted, “We have a real opportunity here.” He pressed the case for investing in alternative modes of transportation. “I propose making LA a city that says yes to trying [new technologies].” He noted that LA was only the second city to test vertical takeoff autonomous cars, and highlighted Measure M, which will not only invest $120billion over 40 years, but will create 770k new jobs.
Finally, the Mayor turned his attention to the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics, and the opportunity it presents Los Angeles. “We know how to manage things, how to make them profitable, and how to invite the world to join us,” said Garcetti, “In 2028, when the world comes to us, who do we want to be?”
Photo credit: Scott Bogunia
The United Chambers of the San Fernando Valley and Region is a coalition of 32 business organizations including 18 Member Chambers, representing over 21,000 businesses that provide over 387,000 jobs. United Chambers deals with Valley-wide, County-wide and Regional issues and promotes the San Fernando Valley’s overall welfare, progress and economic prosperity.